26/11: Ugly scene in LS; LK, Pranab spar

Pranab Mukherjee and BJP MPs had a heated exchange of words over the relief provided to 26/11 victims.

New Delhi, Nov 26: Even as the country united to pay
homage to the victims of the Mumbai terror attack on its first
anniversary, the Leader of the Opposition L K Advani and
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday sparred over relief to
the affected persons.

The ugly scene was witnessed during Zero Hour when Advani
voiced concern over "slow pace" of relief to the victims
evoking an angry response from Mukherjee who accused the BJP
of exploiting the 26/11 incident for political gains.

"You are making politics out of this. Earlier also you
did it and were paid back. ... You will be again paid back in
your own coin," Mukherjee said.

The outburst by the Leader of the House followed BJP
leader Anant Kumar`s insistence that he respond to Advani`s
concerns over the state of relief and rehabilitation of the
victims of 26/11 and the blasts in suburban trains.

Amid cries of `shame, shame` from some members, Advani
said out of 403 persons eligible for relief, only 118 have
received cheques so far and while 64 of them were eligible for
railway jobs, only 32 had received offers till now.

Advani also suggested that a special cell be created in
the Home Ministry, with an officer on special duty as its
head, to look into the "problems of coordination" between 12
different agencies, including eight of the state government,
involved in handling relief.

An agitated Pranab said he had rushed to the house to
listen to the leader of the opposition.

"I have come only to listen to him (Advani). Not to hear
from you (Ananth Kumar)," Pranab said, adding every zero hour
reference could not be answered. "Don`t make it a practice,"
he said. This remark led to heated exchange of words between
Mukherjee and BJP MPs led by Ananth Kumar.

Speaker Meira Kumar brought order in the House when she
reminded members today was a solemn occasion.

Oppn decries Govt on compensation

Cutting across party lines, BJP,
SP, CPI(M) and RLD on Thursday decried the government for still not
paying adequate compensation to 26/11 victims.

Even after 365 days all the 26/11 victims have not got
compensation yet, BJP leader Prakash Javadekar told reporters
outside Parliament.

"There were a total of 403 victims, including 164 killed,
in Mumbai terror attack last year. But only 118 families have
got the compensation. In many cases the Rs 3 lakh cheque given
by the Home Ministry have bounced," Javadekar said.

Accusing the Rail Ministry for failing to fulfil job
promises, he said though 52 were killed at Mumbai Railway
station, only 20 have got jobs till date."

"Even the promise by Petroleum Ministry is also not
fulfilled. Now they are saying they will provide Rs 25,000
only to victim families instead of petrol pumps promised
earlier," he said.

RLD MP Jayant Chaudhury said there was a lacunae on the
part of the government to pay adequate compensation to victim

However, apart from compensation, he questioned the
preparedness to tackle such a terror attack in the future.

"It seems to me insufficient. What are the steps we have
taken to prevent black money being used by terror network?" he